spacer
ANAC Policy Agenda

ANAC Public Policy Agenda

Advocacy for compassionate, science-informed public policy about issues concerning people affected by HIV is a core ideological component of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care’s mission.  ANAC seeks to include the voice of nurses in all levels of public policy discussions that address the health, welfare and rights of individuals living with and at risk for HIV locally and globally.

ANAC’s Public Policy Agenda reflects ANAC’s commitment to evidence-based, scientifically sound public policy as well as the diversity of its members and the individuals and communities for whom nurses provide care, prevention and other services.  ANAC members practice in a wide range of facilities, from Ryan White-funded clinics to large urban hospitals to small private offices.  ANAC members hold positions in medical, academic, public health, research, government and non-governmental community settings.  ANAC members witness the daily impact that public policies have on individuals living with and at risk for HIV infection.

ANAC seeks opportunities to inform public policy by developing and disseminating Position Statements that represent the breadth of policy-related issues that interest and concern ANAC members.  ANAC’s Position Statements are listed at the end of this document.  ANAC remains committed to achieving the goals stated in its Position Statements, and implements its policy agenda by educating ANAC members, the nursing community, the public and lawmakers about our positions.  ANAC advocates for its policy agenda through communication with lawmakers and other stakeholders and decision makers.  As appropriate, ANAC joins coalitions that are aligned with our policy agenda to ensure that the nursing perspective is represented in policy discussion and debates.

ANAC prioritizes the following broad topics:  Workforce Development, Prevention, Access to Care for All Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS, and Decriminalization of HIV and homosexuality.  ANAC proposes a number of public policy recommendations within each of these broad topics:

Workforce Development

The National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) released by the United States in 2010 calls for the U.S. government to “take deliberate steps to increase the number and diversity of available providers of clinical care and related services for people living with HIV” (ONAP, 2010, p. 21) to facilitate greater access to care and enhanced health outcomes for people living with HIV.   The NHAS highlights the importance of increasing the number of HIV providers as well as increasing HIV knowledge among all health professionals.  Engaging and retaining nurses in all aspects of HIV care and prevention is key to the success of the NHAS.  Factors that increase demands on the nursing workforce (such as an aging U.S. population and the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act) and ongoing bottlenecks in nursing education will complicate existing workforce issues.

Policy Recommendations:

ANAC supports the development and implementation of public policy that:

  • Provides incentives for nurses to work in HIV care through student loan repayment and forgiveness programs such as those through the National Health Services Corps by which graduating students would commit to working in HIV care.
  • Provides incentives and rewards for nurses at all levels of experience through clinical fellowships in HIV care.  
  • Ensures that nurses and others are reimbursed appropriately for the comprehensive and complex care that they provide for patients with HIV.
  • Recognizes HIV/AIDS nursing certification through differential reimbursement for nurses who demonstrate expertise by earning AIDS Certified Registered Nurse and Advanced AIDS Certified Registered Nurse credentials.

Prevention

ANAC strongly encourages the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based HIV prevention programs, including harm-reduction approaches.  The UNAIDS 2011 World AIDS Day Report calls for smarter investments to rapidly curb the global HIV epidemic, and it maps out a clear strategy for achieving a significant decline in new infections.  UNAIDS has documented that access to programs based on local contexts that offer comprehensive prevention, care and treatment services is key to reducing HIV infection rates.

Policy Recommendations:

ANAC supports the development and implementation of public policy that:

  • Ensures adequate funding to fully implement CDC’s recommendations for routine HIV testing of adolescents, adults and pregnant women.
  • Permits condom distribution in correctional facilities.
  • Appropriates adequate funds to support age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual education that requires inclusion of HIV in the curriculum in public schools
  • Eliminates the ban on funding for syringe exchange programs
  • Advocates for expanding syringe access.
  • Defunds abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that have been demonstrated to be ineffective.
  • Collaborates with communities that are living with and most at-risk for acquiring HIV infection to develop and implement a range of comprehensive HIV-management strategies that promote prevention through care and treatment.
  • Ensures adequate reimbursement for both universal and targeted primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention services.

Access to Care for All Individuals Living with HIV/AIDS

Policy Recommendations:

ANAC supports the development and implementation of public policy that:

  • Recognizes the critical role of maintaining and continuing the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Expansion Act.
  • Recognizes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a vehicle to expand access to insurance coverage for people living with HIV and AIDS and facilitate earlier access to care and treatment.
  • Enables nurses and other health care providers working in Ryan White-funded facilities to order/request supportive services such as, but not limited to, nutritional services.
  • Promotes equity in benefits across AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), so all individuals who need HIV/AIDS medications have access to DHHS recommended regimens regardless of the state where they reside.
  • Supports and promotes full and equitable civil rights for sexual minority individuals and groups, in all countries.
  • Integrates sexual minority health content into all nursing, medicine, and allied health and social services curricula.
  • Eliminates substandard care for sexual minority persons.
  • Uses provider-neutral language in healthcare legislation.
  • Implements rational approaches to comprehensive HIV prevention and management that reflect community needs assessments conducted collaboratively and in partnership with all concerned population groups.
  • Integrates principles of community-oriented public health into the development of all HIV management strategies.

Decriminalization of HIV, HIV transmission and homosexuality in all jurisdictions locally and globally.

Policy Recommendations:

ANAC supports the development and implementation of public policy that:

  • Advocates for changing laws and policies that criminalize HIV and homosexuality.
  • Educates nurses and policy makers about evidence that such laws are counterproductive to HIV and other disease prevention efforts.
  • Educates nurses, other health care providers, and policy makers of the importance of human rights-based approaches to HIV management and the delivery of socially just health care.
  • Educates nurses and other health care and social service providers to inform patients about these laws where they exist.

Reviewed and reaffirmed by ANAC Policy Committee and ANAC Board of Directors - January 2013


 
Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 3538 Ridgewood Road, Akron, Ohio 44333-3122
tel: 800.260.6780 (toll free) 330.670.0101 (phone) fax: 330.670.0109 email: anac@anacnet.org